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Life-savers Needed in                      Withernsea & Holderness 

17 September 2010

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is appealing to community-minded locals in Withernsea and Holderness to become life-saving Community First Responders.

Recruits will join a voluntary scheme, coordinated and supported by the ambulance service, which provides immediate medical care to members of the community in the vital minutes before an ambulance arrives.

Community First Responders are trained in basic life-support, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and oxygen therapy. They are equipped with a kit which includes oxygen and an automated external defibrillator (AED) to help patients in a medical emergency such as a heart attack, collapse or breathing difficulties.

Over 2,500 dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers work alongside Yorkshire Ambulance Service and, last year, attended more than 5,700 patients with life-threatening conditions alongside ambulance crews, including many suffering cardiac arrest.

Pictured left is Neil Marsay, Community Defibrillation Officer at Yorkshire Ambulance Service. He said: “We know that in many medical emergencies the first few minutes are critical and if effective treatment can be performed within those minutes, lives can be saved and disability reduced.

“Being part of this initiative can be extremely rewarding and I would encourage anyone who may be interested in helping their local community to take on the role.”

Representatives from Yorkshire Ambulance Service will be at the Shores Centre in on Monday 20th September at 7pm to talk to people in the local community about the initiative. Anyone who is interested in finding out more about the scheme is urged to attend. 

Anyone wanting to apply to join the scheme at this time will need to have their driving licence (photo card and counterpart), passport if they hold one, two utility bills for address verification and national insurance number.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service will provide full training to successful applicants who must be over the age of 18, physically fit and hold a full driving licence. Candidates will also be subject to a Criminal Records Bureau check. 

Anyone interested in finding out more should contact the Network Response Team at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, tel: 0845 120 3155 or email, responders@yas.nhs.uk

More than 260,000 people suffer a heart attack in the UK each year, about a third of whom die before reaching hospital due to cardiac arrest. A cardiac arrest most often occurs as a result of a heart attack, when the heart is starved of oxygen. Cardiac arrests cause the heart either to quiver, known as fibrillation, or stop beating altogether. The defibrillators carried by Community First Responders work by delivering a controlled electric shock through the chest wall to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat after a cardiac arrest. The faster this treatment is delivered, the better the outcome for the patient.

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department